How Samsung is Using 5G mmWave to Boost Wi-Fi in Subways


Samsung Electronics has demonstrated improved Wi-Fi service in a fast-moving subway train using its 5G mmWave solution as a backhaul in Seoul, Korea. The trial demonstrated how the use of 5G mmWave can significantly boost legacy Wi-Fi service in a crowded, public setting.

Samsung reached Wi-Fi downlink speeds of 1.8Gbps using a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra on a moving subway train in the trial. This speed is approximately 25 times faster than the current average speed of 71Mbps on Seoul’s subway lines. The use of Samsung’s 5G Compact Macro helped boost Wi-Fi data speeds by leveraging the ultra-high capacity of 5G mmWave spectrum as a backhaul.

This trial took place in parts of Seoul Metro, covering five stations on the subway line circulating through major downtown areas. The enhanced Wi-Fi service was powered by Samsung’s 5G mmWave Compact Macro, installed along the railways and utilizing 800MHz in the 28GHz spectrum band.

In addition to delivering faster Wi-Fi speeds, the wide bandwidth of mmWave enables exceptional mobile experience on smartphones and tablets in hotspots, such as sports stadiums and shopping malls. 5G use cases have expanded to various business areas including public transportation, such as high-speed trains, buses, and more.

“We are pleased to deliver an enhanced mobile experience, with faster download speeds and connections for subway passengers, leveraging our advanced 5G mmWave solution,” said Seungil Kim, Vice President and Head of Korea Business, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics. “Our successful speed trial on public transportation proves the high potential of 5G mmWave, demonstrating its capability to complement existing wireless technologies, and boosting the performance of legacy networks, all while providing a foundation for future telecommunication services.”

Samsung’s Compact Macro brings together a baseband unit, radio and antenna in a single form factor. This compact and lightweight solution can be easily installed on the sides of the buildings as well as on utility poles for a swift buildout of 5G networks. Samsung’s Compact Macro is the first 5G product to be listed on the U.S. National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP) Product Compliant List (PCL) and the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security’s Certified Product List.

Samsung has pioneered the successful delivery of 5G end-to-end infrastructure solutions including chipsets, radios, and core. Through ongoing research and development, Samsung drives the industry to advance 5G networks with its market-leading product portfolio from fully virtualized RAN and Core to private network solutions and AI-powered automation tools. The company is currently providing network solutions to mobile operators that deliver connectivity to hundreds of millions of users around the world.